A bit about me:

James Gravatar

Howdy! I'm James, a website developer who loves all things web. When I'm not in web developer mode I enjoy writing on my blog and gaming. When I'm not doing that I'm probably on Netflix going on the latest TV series binge.

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Dell XPS 9530 UEFI BIOS Recovery

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Dell recently released a new BIOS for the XPS 9530, A09. This BIOS is mainly for Windows 10 compatibility, but I always like to keep my system up to date. This time however, things didn’t go so well and the BIOS updater program actually threw an error about 20 seconds in during the erase procedure and crashed! This is bad news. Upon rebooting my XPS 9530, I got nothing but a black screen with no backlight, zero life. This was kind of expected, the UEFI firmware has been corrupted and therefore the laptop is now a semi-bricked zombie. Fortunately, the XPS 9530 does have a BIOS recovery procedure even when a bad flash occurs, here I’ll share with you how I recovered my XPS 9530 without having to swap out my system board or call Dell.

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Storage Spaces and the lack of built-in data balancing functionality

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I blogged about changing my home media setup late last year on my HP Microserver N54L after migrating from Windows Home Server 2011 to Server 2012 R2 Essentials and choosing to use the Storage Spaces feature with a parity configuration. One key area that became apparent more recently is the lack of data balancing in any given pool configuration. This is potential trouble spot for a few reasons. I’ll go through the pains and workarounds of getting data balanced on a Storage Space pool.

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Per directory PHP monitoring with New Relic, Apache and DirectAdmin (mod_php)

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Configuring New Relic per PHP application monitoring with DirectAdmin 
An automated and simple monitoring setup for multiple PHP applications

New Relic is a great service for monitoring servers and website applications. One of the major features is New Relic’s PHP application monitoring and the ability to do per directory PHP monitoring. This is useful for web servers that run PHP but serve multiple PHP applications under different domain names/directories. Being able to create per directory PHP application monitoring allows you to get more meaningful data about a specific PHP app and gives you the ability to segment your app data easily. I’ll show you how you can automate this type of setup with an Apache setup which is controlled by DirectAdmin.

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An email developer’s first look at the Outlook Mail app in Windows 10

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The new Outlook mail app in Windows 10 
First look and going hands on with the new email client

Windows 10 is the upcoming version of Microsoft’s Windows operating system and there are some big changes coming One area which caught my attention was the mention of the Outlook email client. While its not unusual for Microsoft to talk about their own software, the changes to how Outlook and the whole Office suite will be on Windows 10 is certainly a shift from the current package. Windows 10 will feature a new Outlook app that will be the default email client in Windows 10, replacing the current Mail and Calendar apps in Windows 8/8.1. Not only that but its also a universal app and will be on phones and tablet devices as well.

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Running DirectAdmin through a reverse proxy with Apache 2.2/2.4

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DirectAdmin Web Interface Admin Level

DirectAdmin runs on port 2222 by default, for restrictive firewalls this port will likely be blocked hence you’ll be unable to login to the control panel. You could of course use a VPN or SSH tunnel, but unless your running those types of services on standard ports like 443, the most restrictive firewalls aren’t going to allow such actions. Instead what you can do is use a reverse proxy and run DirectAdmin on port 80/443 with a bit of a custom Apache configuration.

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